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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  May 5, 2014 2:00pm-3:29pm PDT

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that the company sees potential. >> the idea that we could have motion pictures is truly exciting for us. >> in other words, lego will keep turning those plastic bricks into cold, hard cash. so what's next? the "lego movie 2" is already in the works. i'll turn you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." wolf? jake, thanks very much. happening now, breaking news, ominous signs in north korea. u.s. satellites spot something suspicious. they believe north korea is getting ready for a nuclear test. and dennis rodman opens up. is he still in denial about human rights abuses? shocking terror video. the leader of a violent islamist group vows to sell more than 200 kidnapped school girls. so what is the u.s. doing to help? and digging in their heels,
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the clippers' owner and his wife are battling for ownership. is donald sterling's girlfriend helping his case? we're following breaking news at this hour. disturbing signs that north korea may be on the verge of detonating a nuclear device at any time. we're looking into a shocking claim that the uncle of kim jong-un is reportedly alive. dennis rodman says that he saw him alive. plus, the kidnapping of more than 200 school girls. their al qaeda-linked abductors are now threatening to sell them. our reporters and analysts are covering all of those stories and a lot more. let's begin with our pentagon correspondent barbara starr. she has defatails of ominous ne
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developments in north korea. what are you hearing? >> late last week, u.s. spy satellites flying over north korea spotted a tarp and it was over a tunnel entrance at north korea's nuclear test site. why is it so important that there may be a tarp over a tunnel entrance? this is a site where north korea conducts underground nuclear tests, the kind that they've been threatening to do if they put a tarp over it, they don't want the u.s. satellites to see what they are up to. closing off the tunnel entrance would be the final step, one of the final steps before they actually initiated an underground nuclear explosion. if they put the tarp up, that could be, could be a sign that they are nearing that final stage closing off the tunnel entrance and that, wolf, is a huge concern to the u.s. >> i'm sure they are watching it very, very closely. barbara at the pentagon, thanks very much. now to the stunning claim by dennis rodman. he says on his latest trip to
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north korea, he saw kim jong-un's uncle, the same uncle that was killed for treason months ago. brian todd is reporting this. he's close to the leader. >> that's right. when talking about kim jong-un, he said, quote, that little kid is changing north korea for the better. rodman spoke of his personal fondness for the man who executed his own uncle and is again threatening to destabilize the entire region. far from being contrite, dennis rodman is still glowing from the trip that he made to north korea in january and the basketball expedition that he staged for kim jong-un. rodman says he's still impressed with the show of worship kim got when he entered the arena that night. >> i was just so amazed to see the people crying, i mean
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literally crying. >> reporter: some of the interview was individual kbrvid. he said that the uncle was still alive when he was there. >> that's his girlfriend, his uncle, his sister. they were standing right there. >> reporter: the uncle is alive? >> right behind me. >> reporter: the interviewer was skeptical asking again if the uncle is alive. despite reports from north korea's own news agency that kim had his uncle executed for treason. other revelations? he paid the other nba stars who accompanied him to north korea 30 to $35,000 each out of his own pocket. he said he's held kim's baby and portrayed the young volatile dictator as something as a cruise director. >> we were playing basketball and laugh and joke and he has this band and a karaoke machine,
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it's a real band. >> reporter: rodman admits that he was drunk for part of the time and went to rehab after returning from north korea but remains the only american to have personal face-to-face meetings with kim jong-un. rodman says that kim wants to change that. >> he really, really wants to talk to obama. he says -- he can't say that enough. >> reporter: they are concerned that kim's regime is prepared to stage another underground nuclear test. rodman was not only apologetic for the regime but in denial of north korea's human rights record. when asked about the hundreds and thousands of people suffering in labor camps there, his response, quote, which country does not have that. wolf? >> in an interview with
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"du jour," he slammed the us, right? >> he did. he has much kinder words for north korea than america's government. he asked the u.s. government six months ago for help in setting up his trip to go to pyongyang and he said that the government ignored him. a spokeswoman said that to her knowledge, they had no contact with rodman. she's denying that he ever reached out. >> brian todd reporting for us, thank you. let's get more of the "du jour" ceo that interviewed rodman for the magazine. he's here with us in "the situation room" right now. jason, thank you for being here. >> thank you for having me. >> so he believes that his friendship is real and genuine. does he really believe that, based upon the impressions that you got, or is this all just publicity for dennis rodman? >> i think in the beginning he didn't know what to think. as time evolved and through his trips, he's very confident.
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>> does he understand the threats emanating from north korea right now, how tense that north korean peninsula is, nearly 30,000 american soldiers in between one miscalculation can trigger who knows what? >> we approached that question with him on numerous occasions and he kept saying, i'm not a politician. all i can tell you is what my experiences were and that's what we did at "du jour." >> and he says that he keeps in touch with kim jong-un. how does he do that? >> he says that he has direct communication with him. >> he didn't explain how that works? >> no. >> but you got no sense, jason, that he's backing away from that so-called friendship with the north korean leader? >> he did say that this um summer he would go there and was
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concerned if he tried to come back, they wouldn't let him in and that was disturbing to him. >> here's a quote from the interview in "du jour" magazine. this is from rodman. "the u.s. treasury wants to indict me. i'm like, for what? they say i gave his wife a fur coat, a dress, i gave all of these gifts. i was like, i did? no, i didn't." did you get a sense he understood the ramifications of that? >> his focus was that he's not the one giving the gifts and nor does he want to be known to be that person and that's what we reported at >> does he really believe the u.s. is going to pull his passport and actually indict him for going to north korea? >> he basically said, read between the lines. i kept asking him, why do you
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believe if you come back to america that you won't be allowed back into america? he said, it's not going to be america -- north korea's doing. it's going to be america's doing. i asked him, what do you mean? why are you going with this? and he said, read between the lines. >> give me a sense of his demeanor. he himself said he went to rehab, he's got an alcohol problem. how did he seem in the two hours you and your team spent with him? what was he like? >> we expected to actually have a very short interview. the interview went for around two to three hours and we got video, as you know, and taped it. he said he went to rehab for more about decompression. he didn't feel like he was -- had a lot of stress and pressure going on with everything that happened with his other interviews and his trip. and he just needed to decompress. >> did he seem stable? >> he seemed completely stable. he was clear, coherent, he was -- he answered every
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question, yes. >> he clearly wasn't drunk, from your impression? >> he was not drunk. he was really direct. he gave us straight-shooting answers. >> let's talk about the other exclusive that had. you caused a stir on friday when you reported on your website part of a conversation with donald sterling, the owner of the l.a. clippers, in which he said to you, i wish i had just paid her off. take us behind the scenes. what was going on? how did you alone, jason bin, get to speak to donald sterling? what did he say? >> he basically was -- obviously this has been a very having time for him and it just came out naturally. he just said, i should have -- i wish i paid her off. i should have just taken care of it and at that point i knew i had a great quote.
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>> did he seem remorseful to you at all? >> it -- he seems very confused at this point. you know, there's a lot going on. i couldn't really answer that question. >> but the impression you walked away with, he's going to fight to keep the l.a. clippers? >> i asked him and it seems what the media has been saying and the impression is i think that's what is going to happen. >> jason bin, your two big exclusives in the last few days. dennis rodman and donald sterling, thanks for being here. >> thanks for having me. up next, more on the clippers' owner donald sterling. he may have been ousted by the nba but his wife has made it clear she's not going anywhere. and now, one of the owners is getting ready to speak out in "the situation room." there he is. bruce levin son, one of the co-owners of the atlanta hawks. say hello to jason bin. when jake and i first set out on our own,
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starts as low as $129 a year. for an agent, call the number that appears on your screen. let's get more now on the scandal rocking the nba. the spotlight is increasingly on the clippers' co-owner who has stood by him and distanced herself at the same time. our correspondent suzanne malveaux has the latest with shelly sterling. >> well, we are all waiting to see whether the owners force donald sterling to sell this
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time. while donald sterling has basically stayed out of the spotlight, it's his wife that continues to make the headlines and fuel speculation now that the l.a. team might stay in the family. shelly sterling, the wife of the ousted clippers' team is not retreating, showing up at game seven on saturday and saying she supports the nba commissioner's decision. i welcome his active involvement in the search for a person of the utmost character promoting equality and inclusiveness. she faces scrutiny from a 2003 lawsuit against her and her husband. >> frshe was accusing of posings a housing inspector at a building that she and her husband owned. >> he preferred asians over african-americans and latinos.
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he told his management staff that african-americans smelled and they smelled like vermin and hispani hispanics drank all day long. >> reporter: they were ordered to pay the plaintiffs 5 milli$5n in attorneys' fees. she also added that she's not going away. "i'm fully committed to taking the necessary steps to making the clippers the best team in the nba." >> shelly sterling feels that she's an owner, there is no question that donald sterling and shelly sterling are part of the sterling team. they are in this together. >> reporter: los angeles mayor says donald sterling told him he most likely will not sell the team. >> i think he thinks that he's going to be the owner for a long time, that he wants to stay the owner. he believes in is hhis heart th
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he's a very good person. >> reporter: so does v. stiviano. >> is donald sterling a racist? >> no, i don't believe it in my heart. >> you've heard him say derogatory things. >> yes. >> don't they sound racist to you? >> i think the thing he says are not what he feels. >> reporter: public statements like these could lead nba owners to ultimately allow sterling to keep his team. >> this is going to be a very difficult, difficult choice for the nba owners. i don't think it's a slam dunk case at all. >> reporter: and as for the clippers, they are playing well on the court moving on to the second round of the nba playoffs and at least one sponsor is back to support them as we are still waiting, wolf, to see what those nba owners decide. >> suzanne malveaux, thanks very much. let's go now to bruce levinson, one of the co-owners of the atlanta hawks. bruce is here in "the situation
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room." bruce, thanks very much for coming in. >> thank you, wolf. >> i know you're outraged by the comments that donald sterling made and you believe there should be zero tolerance, right? >> that's correct. >> when you heard what he said, what immediately went through your mind? >> well, first of all, i've got to say a couple things. donald sterling, what he said, i'm his partner. i can't be partner with somebody who shares those views. >> because you're another owner of an nba team? >> yes. 30 of us. adam silver -- >> the commissioner? >> the commissioner has made it very clear that he's banned from the league. i support what adam is doing and i think it resonates with you will a of the owners. >> what about the wife, shelly sterling? assuming he's banned for life,
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should she be punished along the same lines? >> i think we need to let this process play out. i think we'll have a result that makes sense for our fans, for the public. >> hold on for a moment because rachel nichols, the host of "unguarded" is also with us. rachel, let me get your take on shelly sterling. is she going to emerge as the owner of the clippers even as he's kicked out? >> well, it's unlikely that we would see shelly sterling not be allowed to own the team. the question is, what is her role in the interim period? is she around the team? the answer is yes. she's been at the game. is she allowed to make any management decisions? doc rivers has been complementary of shelly sterling. i don't know how much of the previous allegations doc has heard. it's a big mess over there. the nba wants to appoint a ceo to clear things up. we're waiting for them to do that in the interim period.
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>> bruce, there's a new cnn poll. should nba owners force them to sell the los angeles clippers? 40% say yes and 50% say no. i take it you are stunned by that. >> i was. i think as this process plays out, wolf, people's views on that will change. >> why do you say that? >> well, first of all, they need to understand that this isn't a litigation, a legal matter. we're partners together and as such i was voted into this league by my partners. i could be voted out of this league by my partners. i think i speak for all my partners when i say we were all deeply offended. we all quickly spoke out against these words that we heard on that tape. >> you think the vote will be unanimous and that they will vote to get him out? >> i can't tell you about others. i can only tell you how i feel about this. >> rachel, what do you think
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about that poll? 47% say yes and 50% say no that donald sterling should be forced to sell the clippers? >> i think it reflects the mixed feelings that people have. bruce, you obviously feel so strongly about this. we heard mark cuban, the owner of the dallas mavericks say that he is concerned, about the slippery slope, voting out owners based on private conversations. i'm wondering what talks you have had with fellow owners, whether anyone has expressed conversations with you, not about what donald sterling has said per se but just about the idea of this process. >> i have great, great respect for mark cuban. when i first came into the league ten years ago, he was a mentor, an adviser. but for me, the only slippery slope here is the one that would in any way, shape, or form tolerate the messages that i heard on that tape. >> and it's very personal, bruce, for you, because i've
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known you for a long time. long before we knew about donald sterling's racist comments, the atlanta hawks, your team, we're playing the washington lizards. it used to be your team. you did something special with the team, the coaches, everyone else. tell our viewers what you did and this is before the sterling up roar happened. >> yeah, towards the end of the season it's something we had wanted to do for some time and the schedule allowed it. we were coming to washington to play the lizards. so we went to the holocaust museum. >> the memorial museum? >> yes. an extraordinary experience. >> why did you want to take the players there? >> they had the opportunity to meet my mother-in-law. she's a survivor of unspeakable acts in the holocaust. she lost two brothers in the holocaust. it was an opportunity for them to meet her, it was an opportunity for them to visit the museum and to learn the
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lessons that the museum teaches us. >> and that was a powerful moment for you and the team. rachel, independent nba fans want him gone, donald sterling, whether or not a national poll has it 50/50 or so. >> yeah, reaction within the league was very strong. reaction among fans, among players. and that's why there is going to be pressure on each of these owners. if an owner feels differently than bruce does, well, now he's accountable because adam silver has made this a public issue. the fact that they are going to vote and they are pushing for everybody to oust donald sterling and every player is going to have to answer to his players, to his fans and fans around the country and certainly all of the players on all of the teams have made it clear, pretty much unanimously, that they want this guy gone. >> the poll, should nba owners force sterling to sell the los angeles clippers.
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that doesn't mean that they support or like what they said. they clearly don't. >> wolf, this is what is so great about america. when something like this happens, we quickly, we loudly, we clearly reject it. the fans spoke up. the players spoke up. our nba business partner spoke up and every nba business owner spoke up. nobody said this is okay. >> how long before we know the final outcome? how long is it going to play out? >> i think the process is going to go quickly. >> within a few weeks? >> i can't tell you exactly. >> it will be relatively quickly? >> yes. >> bruce levenson, co-owner of the atlanta hawks. thank you. rachel nichols, we'll see you in the next hour. coming up, hundreds of girls kidnapped and an al qaeda-linked group threatening to sell them. and more about malaysia flight 370.
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is the hunt for flight 370 now back to square one? officials will refocus their effort to find the airliner. it may cost tens and millions of dollars. let's get the details from rene marsh who is here in "the situation room." renee? >> one new detail that we're learning is that the data that they've been relying on for nearly two months and has led crews to the current search zone will now be reviewed again to see if there are any flaws in their calculations. reset. >> the operation must now enter a new phase. >> reporter: recalculate. >> we will make sure that there is no flaws in it. >> reporter: and reorganize. >> in the meetings we'll look at what assets may be required. >> reporter: more than 300 search flights over 3,000 flying hours and at least 1.7 million
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square miles of ocean off the coast of australia searched for floating debris. that's like scanning the entire state of alaska three times. the underwater search of 154 square miles also found nothing. a giant operation back to the drawing board. >> one of the key elements of the next stage will be to undertake more detailed oceanographic mapping of the search area. much of this area has never been mapped. >> reporter: a major meeting today between australia, china, and malaysia. the game plan is a broader underwater search using the bluefin-21 and more specialized sonar equipment likely from private companies that can dive deeper and withstand the underwater pressure. these cups were in the bluefin
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when it dived down three miles and the enormous pressure shrunk them. the search effort paused. "ocean shield" docked to refuel and bluefin sitting on deck. both will return to search where pings from the black boxes were detected. >> i still put the most weight on the work that the expert team in kuala lumpur has done. that's the best information that we have. >> reporter: the next phase of the search could last a year and cost about $60 million. well, last week, 11 people were arrested on suspicion that a militant group was responsible for planning terror attacks in and outside of malaysia. the first question was, did they have anything to do with the disappearance of the missing plane? the police are telling us that there's no indication to show that this group is linked to the missing plane. >> rene, hold on for a minute. i want to bring in the former
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ntsb managing director peter goelz and the former fbi assistant director miles o'brien. perhaps questioning to see if there might be some connection to the missing malaysian airliner, you have looked into this? >> yes. i learned this morning from the fbi that the case has been going on for more than a year. members of the group indicated that they were not related to the malaysia disappearance. >> so it's just coincidental that they are talking to them? >> right. this goes back to more than a decade between the fbi and the malaysian police. >> and on this front, there's very good cooperation between the u.s. and malaysia? >> right. they forged a number of groups very successfully. >> peter, let's talk about this new stage. you heard the australian minister suggesting that they are going to be going to depths and doing things that they haven't done over these past couple of months. this is going to be a long,
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drawn out process now? >> it's going to go at least a year. they are looking at a completely new approach. they are probably going to be using towed vehicles instead of remotely driven ones. i would say that the bluefin is going to be going in for some long, hard work. >> they are talking about upgrading the technology because they are going to start from scratch? >> right. bluefin is on the deck of "ocean shield," which is at the port. they are not doing any searching right now but what they are going to do is upgrade the software, making it possible for bluefin to go even deeper that we saw it go. we sthau thaw that they pushed limit beyond what it was going to go to before. >> since then, they haven't found any tiny piece of wreckage of this plane. i assume that they are going to look at all of the inmarsat data
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and all of the pings that they thought they heard. they are going to look at everything to see if they are even looking in the right place. >> i think so. they are not going to just take it for granted that they've been in the right place. they will just keep looking and relooking and reanalyzing and try to reaffirm that they are in the right place. >> they have been looking at several places without success and the pings that they thought they heard from the black boxes, what if both of those assumptions turn out to be wrong. >> i think it's slim but you've got to challenge every assumption right now. you've got a couple weeks where everything is unsure. go back to the beginning and make sure that everything is correct, that what facts you have you've got to challenge them. so we'll see. >> tell us what you're hearing, rene, about this tri-lateral meeting between the chinese and
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the australians and i assume the u.s. will be on the sidelines as well? >> right. they are going to be talking about what kind of assets they are going to bring in and they are going to be talking about costs. roughly $60 million, how is that going to be divided up and how are they going to split it up? it's going to go back to the general area where the pinging sounds were detected. however, they are going to be widening the search area. so this is all about the kind of equipment that they are going to be bringing in and reaching out to the private sector, the private companies who may have this equipment. is it available? that's another issue. they want to know what is available to them. >> you've been involved, tom, in major international investigations over the years. how critical is this phase right now when they are regrouping? >> it's always critical to have proper planning. so to go to regroup, replan, chart out what is going to be done in the months ahead is
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always a critical factor. >> all right. we'll see what happens. this is going to be a long, drawn out process. up next, the leader of an islamist terror group boasting he will sell more than 200 kidnapped school girls. can the u.s. do anything to help? and we have details of a u.s. spy plane causing major travel problems. that's coming up. if i told you that a free ten-second test
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terrorist group that is boastful, cruel, and taunting. he takes responsibility for the mass kidnapping of more than 200 school girls and he's vowing to sell them. the united states is taking some steps to help nigeria get the girls back but authorities are up against a merciless and deadly foe. let's go live to isha sesay who is joining us live from nigeria. what are you learning, isha? >> reporter: well, wolf, this video that emerged today with the leader of boko haram is gut-wrenching and sickening. it's been three weeks since these girls were snatched from their school in nigeria and today we heard from the group that says they are responsible and it only deepened the anxiety and the desperation being felt by the families of these girls and the people of nigeria. new horrors from a brazen and
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increasing terrorist organization. boko haram is claiming a grim fate for the girls kidnapped in the dead of night during a fiery attack on their school three weeks ago. >> translator: i abducted your girls. i will sell them in a market. by allah. >> reporter: rambling threats in the nearly hour-long video. there is financial help and training from al qaeda for boek c boko haram. boko haram means western education is sinful. its goal, to create a radical
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islamic state in nigeria. >> translator: a law says i should sell. he commands me to sell. i will sell women. >> reporter: protesters in nigeria and around the world are demanding action to find the abducted girls who might have already been sold as child brides or worse. cnn has learned that the obama administration has started sharing intelligence with nigeria where the government is under fire and accused of incompetence. the country's president spoke out for the first time about the kidnapping. >> let me assure them that we will get the other girls out. >> reporter: the president saying that he will do everything he can, him and his security forces to find these girls but also admitting in that first on-camera statement that he made on sunday to nigerians that they simply don't know where those girls are. in a conversation that i had with the finance minister a short time ago, he stressed that
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nigeria is open to help, they are asking for help for help from the international community to help them find these girls. wolf? >> what a heartbreaking story this one is, isha sesay, reporting live from nigeria. let's get a closer look at this desperate kidnapping situation, the deadly terror group leaving a trail of blood across nigeria. joining me is peter bergen who has studied this horrible, horrible group, boko haram. it literally means translated, western education is sinful. they will go after muslims, they will go after christians. they just don't believe that girls should get an education? >> yes. they are aiming to impose taliban-style rule on much of nigeria, particularly in the north where they are based. >> most americans have never heard of this group boko haram but it does have links to al qaeda and al qaeda affiliated
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groups? >> yes. they have given money to boko haram in the past. there is reporting suggesting that osama bin laden was in communication with the leader of this group. there is no indication that boko haram is linked to al qaeda formally or that al qaeda is affiliated with boko haram but there are certainly some links. >> are they growing now, are they increasing their links to nigeria? >> i think they are growing. amnesty international released a report on saturday indicating that 1500 people have been killed in the last three months, wolf, violence between these kinds of groups and the government. and that's, you know, more than half of what happened in 2013. the groups are able to, you know, produce more violence and it's a problem for nigeria which is now in fact the richest country in africa. they are about to hold this world economic forum meeting on wednesday and, you know, instead
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this is going to dominate the headlines. nigeria wants to position itself as an oil rich country which is doing well economically. >> can the nigerian military get the job done and crush this group? >> well, it's been around for a decade so i guess the answer is not immediately. >> are they doing enough? do they need help from the outside, from other african countries, the u.s., europeans? >> yes, i think that's right. we saw in 2012 that mali acquired the french military and i'm not suggesting military intervention but this group has been growing for the last decade and i think this kidnapping speaks for itself. they have not got a handle on it and it's causing a lot of problems for them domestically. >> peter bergen, thank you very much. a horrible story indeed. just ahead, how a spy plane created an air traffic nightmare for countless thousands of u.s. travelers. also, in eastern ukraine,
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firefighters are battling heat and winds in oklahoma along with a large wildfire that's killed at least one person. more than 30 buildings already have been burned. dozens of homes are threatened. 1,000 people already have been evacuated. meteorologist chad myers is joining us with an update. chad, tell us what's going on over here. >> i spent three years of my career in this area here, oklahoma city, norman, edmond, guthrie. this is the fire near guthrie.
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a controlled burn that got out of control because of winds and a little bit of dry. this has been a drought area for so very long. hasn't rained in so many days. 10 180 days in a row without rain other than a thunderstorm, that runs off anyway, wolf. the fire along the guthrie line blowing to the northeast at almost 30 miles per hour. at that type of wind speed, the sparks from the fire are picked up and sent a mile forward. so when the firefighters believe they have a handle on the fire, these are the cedar trees. cedar and scrub oak here. when you see the flames explode like this, this is cedar. they go up, literally like they're coated with gasoline. the energy in that cedar sap is tremendous, and it's hot and it sparks and the sparks and ash and the timbers and the cinders just fly and fly for miles. and every time you see a white smoke area, that's truly trees. that's only trees and grass
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burning. but when it gets dark and gets black, that's when homes or structures or cars or tires or tractors that are in the way, that's when you begin to know that there's real truly damage on the ground when you see that dark smoke, wolf. >> what's the forecast for the immediate hours and next day or so as far as these fires are concerned? is the forecast going to help or hurt? >> you know, i don't see relative humidities getting involve even 40% overnight. to the west of this area, the relative humidity earlier today was 9%. that's just ripping any moisture that might be in that plant away from that plant. and the winds are still going to be blowing 20 or 30 miles per hour tonight and, wolf, tomorrow is a much more severe day. could be 40 miles per hour then. >> chad myers. we'll stay in close contact with you for more. thank you. coming up, as bloody clashes escalate between government troops and pro-russian militants in ukraine, we're going to hear from an american journalist who was detained and threatened by
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happening now, bloody new battles for control of ukraine. i'll speak with a journalist who was captured by forces. they blindfolded him and threatened to kill him. plus, key players in the donald sterling scandal are speaking out about the future of the clippers and if sterling is a racist. stand by. our panel has provocative thing to say about that. a u.s. spy plane causing a major disruption in air travel in the united states. we have tdetails ahead. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." right now, russia is pouring
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more fire on the crisis in ukraine. intensifying their fight to reclaim pro-russian strong holds. it's a very deadly situation that's forcing the united states to consider new moves to moscow. let's go live to ukraine, nick paton walsh is standing by. first, let's go to our pentagon correspondent barbara starr. >> reporter: all the talk by the obama administration has been about sanctions against moscow for its actions in ukraine. the question now, is there anything else the u.s. could do? ukraine is now spinning out of control. the violence spilling into western ukraine where in odessa a police station is attacked. rioting continues in eastern ukraine. by pro-russian militants.
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one woman in slavyansk describing a war zone saying -- >> translator: petro station blew up right there. bullets were flying above and it was impossible to raise your head. >> reporter: the u.s. is talking sanctions against moscow. critics say it may be too late. >> putin successfully dismembered ukraine using special forces and intelligence agents. >> reporter: there is no u.s. military option to stop it all, but thousands of u.s. troops in europe will join seven major military exercises in the coming weeks. in germany, georgia, the black sea, the baltics, and in ukraine where in july, 11 nations including the u.s. will train together. cnn has learned the pentagon plans to fly b-2s and b-52s in a baltic sea exercise next month. a u.s. official insists the heavy bombers would not fly in
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the immediate region. that would be too provocative. but a message still the same. the u.s. will defend eastern europe. there is other help. fbi personnel in ukraine are helping the government search for stolen assets from the previous regime, and the u.s. intelligence community is sharing some satellite imagery about locations of the 40,000 russian troops still on the other side of the border. and a new cnn/orc poll shows just how little americans want to get involved in ukraine. just 6%, 6% said they would favor immediate u.s. military action, and less than 1/3 said they would favor action if diplomatic and economic efforts failed to work giving the white house very little reason to change its current policy. wolf? >> barbara starr. thanks very much.
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let's go to ukraine right now. cnn is on the ground witnessing the fighting and bloodshed firsthand. let's check in with senior international correspondent nick paton walsh in the flashpoint city of slavyansk. what's the latest there, nick? >> reporter: across the country through odessa, eastern ukraine, the seat of unrest but the town where i'm standing slavyansk. the ukrainian military did their best to make a move today but in the end many civilians it seems caught in the crossfire. on the way into slavyansk we passed ukraine's army edging closer to its center. we were told to hurry on. just around the corner, pro-russian militants were clearly massing, ready. the green van driven by their best equipped nearby. this day, the probing by each side of the other stopped and
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broke into chaos of open conflict. [ sirens ] a procession of ambulances to the hospital. this man's wife shot in the head, he said, while still on their balcony. she died moments later. the random suffering and intimate moments of loss of what's fast becoming civil war. four militants brought in, too. from the other side, ukraine said it lost four soldiers and a helicopter whose pilot survived. here, closer to the frontline, they look for snipers. up close, theysteriomysterious, more human in their fury. they shoot at the people to blame it on us, one said. another saying they fought not the army, but far right militants. urging us to film the toll on
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civilians. slavyansk fears only worse than come. the self-declared mayor hours earlier showed me how ukraine's army had the town circled. he'll only negotiate if they withdraw and sleeps in his office under guard. he has one message for washington. "to barack obama, i'd like to say following" he said. "please stop supplying fighters with money and weapons, with military forces like blackwater." rhetoric that feeds loathing, fermenting bloodshed and the fear this is not the climax of recent unrest but the start of whole troubles new. wolf, a poll, there's 94% of americans who don't want to see american involvement here have a point. it's extraordinarily messy on the ground. the ukrainian army not particularly experienced in combat yet alone fighting a complex insurgency like this.
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pro-russian militants very well dug in and this is probably going to spiral increasingly bloodily in the week ahead. i think many potentially in the days coming may be looking to the russians, perhaps, to try and stabilize the situation. it's unlikely kiev can do that and that may be exactly vladimir putin was hoping would happen. >> nick paton walsh on the ground in eastern ukraine. buzz feed's mike giglio was detained and released by pro-russian militants. he is joining us in eastern ukraine. tell us what it was like and how long were you being held captive? >> thanks, wolf. i was headed down to slavyansk on friday with my translator and stopped at a pro-russia checkpoint and detained for 30 minutes there while they basically tried to find out what to do with us. after about 30 minutes we were greeted by one of the people who was in charge of area from the
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pro-russian side. they decided to abduct us. i was blindfolded, put in the van with other journalists and driven to a military headquarters about an hour away. held there two, three hours and were released when they decided they could trust us and were not spies. >> how were you treated during the two-hour period when you were blindfolded? >> i think the way we were treated shows the confusion and amateurism of the rebels here. on the one hand they were threatening us, they were pretty rough with us. one of my colleagues was punched a couple of times pretty hard while we were blindfolded. and on the other hand, they were trying to reassure us everything would be okay. they were, you know -- they removed all our possessions but told us we'd get them back. in between threats, they were sort of whispering, don't worry, this is going to be fine. and when they finally did make the decision to release us, the tension lifted. actually at the end of it, they
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served us tea and gave us by way of an apology a sort of halting explanation for what happened which is in short they just panicked. there was a military operation going on and were taking casualties from the ukrainian army and i think they just freaked out and they, you know, they reacted on the scene and finally i think they found some logic and decided to let us go. >> so you don't necessarily think there were orders from russia, from russia, from moscow, to these local pro-russian separatists, if you will, to go ahead, threaten, intimidate, cajole, get these western journalists, american journalists in particular, worried? >> see, i think that's implied from the prop began aganda comi of the kremlin and pro-russian media. western gejournalists and amerin journalists are the problem and sentiment coming out of moscow
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right now. >> how worried, mike, are you? >> you know, i was very worried at the time. i did receive special attention for being an american. now i think, you know, how worry i am depends on how tense the situation. days like today, journalists can travel around pretty freely. other days when things are really, really reaching a boiling point, i think the emotions could get the better of people. i think they're so intensely set against westerners right now that it becomes dangerous for us. >> do you have a feeling that the place where you are right now in ukraine, they may be on the verge of a major civil war? >> reporter: i've actually been struggling with myself what to call it right now. i think what i would say is anyone i speak to on either side of this right now calls it a war. it's just in their minds that's what this has become. you know, i spoke with a very
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sensitive and, you know, well-connected pro-russia separatist leader here in donetsk today and has friends on pro-kiev side. i asked him how he feels about people being kidnapped, beating people, maybe even torturing them. he said, i feel bad about this, but it's war, it's dirty business. that's pretty much where they're leaving it right now. >> are you going to stay there or get out of there? >> reporter: i'll be here for a while. >> be careful over there, mike giglio of buzzfeed. good luck to you. be careful as i like to tell our own reporters in these dangerous situations. i know you've been in dangerous situations before. we'll stay in close touch with you. good luck. still ahead, is donald sterling's wife sending a message to the nba about the future of the l.a. clippers and whether the family will fight to keep the team? our panelists stand by. you're going to hear from rachel nichols, don lemon, jeffrey toobin. stay with us.
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we're following new developments in scandal surrounding the owner of the los angeles clippers and the racist refares. donald sterling's estranged wife supports the nba's decision to ban him for life and they'll work with the league to find a new owner for the clippers which she co-owns. notice what shelly sterling did say, no word about selling the team. adam is silver is pushing for that asking other team owners for support. let's bring in our cnn anchor don lemon, cnn's rachel nichols, host of "unguarded" and cnn legal analyst, jeffrey toobin. what do you make of shelly's statement, rachel, that she supports a new ceo but she's
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giving you indication she, herself, is ready to sell the team and she is a co-owner? >> well, it's pretty fascinating to watch this play out because it appears that shelley sterling is playing both sides. on the one hand, she makes conciliatory remarks, issues statements denouncing her supposedly estranged husband. on the other hand, videocameras and paparazzi in l.a. caught her having dinner and out and about with her so-called estranged husband donald sterling and defending him to paparazzi asking if he's racist, she said, no, of course not. it's interesting to see her involvement in this, whether she's a two-between between donald sterling and the team or the league sort of feeding back any information. meanwhile, we hear from tmz that donald sterling is lawyer shopping. he's gong to definitely fight to hold the team it looks like. it's definitely an interesting balance over there. >> jeffrey, legally speaking, let's say adam silver gets his way, all the owners, at least more than owners, more than
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three-quarters vote he must give up the team, sell the team. could she emerge legally speaking as someone who would emerge as the sole owner, if you will, of the team? >> legally, i suppose it's possible that she could make a bid, but it's not going to happen. adam silver has bet his entire commissionership on resolving this situation in a way that is satisfactory to the players, to the other owners, to the larger community which wants sterling out. getting her in as an owner is not a satisfactory solution. the nba will definitely not sit still for that. >> i heard, though, not sure if you talked about this, but what if it's in a trust? i heard the team may be in a trust. if it is, adam silver can't do anything about it if it is really in a family trust, it has to remain with the family. >> no, that's not true. the nba, this is our candy store. they decide who can own the teams and who can't. you can call it a trust. you can call it community
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property. you can call it anything you want. if three-quarters of the owners vote that the current owner situation is unacceptable, they're all out. you can tie whatever label on it you want. but they are in charge of who owns franchises. >> and remember, adam silver already has banned sterling for life from participating, attending, doing anything with the nba. rachel, v. stiviano, supposed girlfriend of donald sterling spoke to barbara walters. i want to play this exchange. listen to this. >> is donald sterling a racist? >> no. i don't believe it in my heart. >> have you heard him say derogatory things about minorities in general? blacks in particular? >> absolutely. >> so what's been the reception, the reaction to what she is saying? >> first i think there was amazement she didn't do the interview in her visor because that's the only way we've seen her the past few days.
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that all in itself was exciting. and sks of course, the idea that she is his, quote, silly rabbit was part of the interview as well and my favorite part of that was barbara walters asking her, is that his pet name for you? and her answer was, no, that's my pet name for me. >> no, no, my favorite thing was when barbara walters goes, his what? the way she said it. it was like she said the same thing i said as she was doing the interview. when she said, he called me his silly rabbit. i said, his what? barbara said, his what? it's ridic -- she's crazy. >> i got to tell you guys -- i spent this -- >> go ahead, rachel. >> yeah, i spent this morning with a bunch of the members of the miami heat at their practice. they're obviously focused on their upcoming playoff series. there's chatter about this among the players. they think this is a crazy sideshow. they heard that comment as well and joking around about that. i will say, as this sideshow and circus act of v. stiviano plays out, the players are still pretty focused on this idea of
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donald sterling and how fast or slow the process is moving. a couple of the players i spoke to were concerned that the nba's advisory committee hasn't yet notified donald sterling of their intention to have a vote to try to force them out. and jeffrey, you were talking during the break about the lawyers that donald sterling is talking to. they seem like confident lawyers. >> this is glacier and wile. donald o'brien, keith olbermann and paula deen. >> very highly regarded. but look, everything the nba has done since the day adam silver decided to get rid of -- to get rid of this ownership has been designed to defeat an attempt to stop the sale. so they know what's coming. you can get the best lawyers in the world, but if the nba constitution says what it says and it's pretty leer, it is up to the nba and donald sterling
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is forbidden under the nba contract from challenging it in court. >> you know, i spoke in the last hour with one of the co-owners of the atlantic hawks, an nba team, bruce levinson and told us in "the situation room" this process is going to move quickly right now, he has no doubt about that. don, i want your reaction to what v. stiviano, supposed girlfriend said about donald sterling. she says, the things he says are not what he feels. what do you think about that? >> i never really say anything i don't feel. especially when you're in the heat of a conversation like that. and supposedly according to her, there are hours of tapes where they have conversations like that. i don't -- how many -- wolf, how many times have you gone on hours about something you didn't feel negating and contradicting yourself? most people don't do that. usually in the privacy of your own home when you're speaking to the person you're having a relationship with, your beautiful wife who i know,
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you're speaking from the heart. you're talking about things you know about that's closest to you and your inner feelings. i don't believe her. i think she has 1.9 billion reasons as well to say that she doesn't believe donald sterling is a racist and believe she doesn't believe that's what's in his heart. i think she's still motivated by money that she can possibly get from him, therefore she's going to say what she said to barbara walters. >> in these scandals, there's a requirement to have colorful subsidiary colors. you need a linda tripp. v. serves that function in this case. regardless of what she says, it's not going to make any difference because she's -- the tapes say what the tapes say and the league's made up its mind and sterling is gone. >> you have no doubt -- i assume you have no doubt, i have no doubt that when the vote finally come, rachel, it's going to be nearly if not completely unanimous that this guy must sell the team. >> well, as i said, players are a little concerned that the pace of this, while everyone has used the words like expeditiously and we're going to do this as quickly as possible, the pace of
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it has slowed in recent days. part of that may just be concern of having all ts crossed and is dotted so if there is any outside legal involvement everything does hold up if there is a lawsuit. but that pace is starting to raise eyebrows around the nba. they're going to let the playoffs play out and see how this process goes on. there's definitely talk if we reach the off season, reach the summer in the nba and there isn't significant movement here, players are going to get concerned again. remember, we had talk of a boycott at one point and talk of maybe, hey, nba games might start up again in the fall. a lot of interest how this plays out and how quickly. >> rachel, don, jeffrey, guys, we'll continue this conversation. thank you. don, see you at 10:00 tonight. is that right? >> yes, sir. we'll be talking about this as well. >> okay. excellent. just ahead, how a spy plane created an air traffic nightmare for thousands of american travelers.
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